At 2 a.m. this morning
I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. I know this happens
occasionally to a lot of us. With me, it usually has to do with
work that has piled up, making me feel like I'll never catch
up. So I toss and turn and worry, even though there's not much
I can do to solve my problems at that hour. On this particular
morning, however, my distress was not totally related to work.
Three fishing buddies had called on Sunday to ask me to join
them on a two-day fly-fishing trip. Lying there with my face
smashed against the pillow, I reminded myself of a TV ad that
shows a boy sitting in the back seat of his family car with
his face distorted from pressing it against the window, agonizing
over having to listen to his mom and dad driving down the highway
singing some dorky song with a refrain that goes, "polly
wolly doodle all the day." In my case it was agonizing
over the fact that I couldn't go fly fishing.
My buddies were planning to leave Tuesday morning around 9.
I said I would try to rearrange my schedule to join them, but
I would let them know for sure Monday night. When Monday night
rolled around, however, I finally came to the conclusion that
I wouldn't be able to make the trip. So with great sadness I
called my friends to let them know.
Anyway, after tossing and turning for two hours in the cool
of the morning, I finally got up. (The temperature was around
60 degrees, perfect for sleeping. I mention this just to make
you jealousmost of you in this hemisphere experience much
more heat at that time of the morning.) I knew this was going
to be a tough day, with all I had to do on only three and a
half hours of sleepdreaming of fly fishing all the while.
Fly fishing is my passion, and not so long ago I was doing it
on a regular basis. It's a grand sport that can be done by anyone,
although out of the many who fly fish, only a few are good casters.
Fly casting is an art form and an important part of fly fishing.
Yet for some reason, most people who fly fish never learn to
do it correctly, even though they may have fished for years.
One reason might be that people who fish all their lives on
small streams such as the ones we have here in New Mexico do
not have a need to cast their fly lines a great distance.
Without even trying to catch a fish, fly fishing is fun. Casting
on the grass of a city park is a good way to improve your technique.
For some reason, women have an easier time than men in learning
how to cast properly. I think it's because they are better students
and listen to instruction better. One of the best casting instructors
in the world is a lady by the name of Joan Wulff, who has a
fly-fishing school on the Beaverkill River northwest of New
Fly casting, when done correctly, is like hitting a drive straight
down the fairway or hitting a tennis ball in the sweet spot
on the racquet and sending it down the line as your opponent
rushes the net. Fly casting is a very important part of fly
fishing, and this is particularly true when working big rivers
or fishing in the ocean for tarpon, bonefish or permit.
This style of fishingusing a long, light, thin rod and
attempting to toss a fishing line, with no weight attached,
60 or 70 feet and making the fly land softly on the wateris
quite apart from any other type of fishing. If you ever get
the opportunity to fly fish, by all means try it. You might
find out that you have been missing out on a great sport.
If you come to Santa Fe, fly-fishing stores like Orvis and High
Desert Angler can set you up with the right equipment and a
guide, so that you can have a wonderful day on one of our beautiful
streams. We fly fishermen have a saying, "A bad day of
fishing is better than a good day of working." Agonizing
over that thought is the reason I couldn't sleep last night!
Have a good day.